Trade and Cooperation Agreement: Overview
The United Kingdom and the European Union have agreed to unprecedented 100% tariff liberalisation. This means there will be no tariffs or quotas on the movement of goods we produce between the UK and the EU. This is the first time the EU has agreed a zero tariff zero quota deal with any other trading partner.
The Agreement also includes provisions to support trade in services (including financial services and legal services). This will provide many UK service suppliers with legal guarantees that they will not face barriers to trade when selling into the EU and will support the mobility of UK professionals who will continue to do business across the EU.
The Agreement firmly and explicitly recognises UK sovereignty over our fishing waters and puts us in a position to rebuild our fishing fleet and increase quotas in the next few years, finally overturning the inequity that British fishermen have faced for over four decades. Beyond this Agreement, we will also invest in our fishing communities and restore the UK’s fishing fleet across the whole UK, including supporting our Scottish fishmen.
The Agreement ensures streamlined co-operation on law enforcement to ensure we continue to effectively tackle serious organised crime and counter terrorism – protecting the public and bringing criminals to justice
The Agreement is based on international law, not EU law. There is no role for the European Court of Justice and no requirements for the UK to continue following EU law.
The Government has embedded into this Agreement our manifesto commitment to high labour environment and climate standards without giving the EU any say over our rule.
This Agreement ends the EU State Aid regime in Great Britain and allows us to introduce our own modern subsidy system so that we can better support businesses to grow and thrive in a way that best suits the interests of British industries.
The Agreement also includes arrangements for airlines and hauliers that provides them with certainty and gives people the ability to travel to and from the EU easily. It also includes a social security agreement that has practical benefits for UK citizens including accessing healthcare when travelling in the EU; agreements on energy provision which will benefit consumers; and collaboration on scientific research, fulfilling the Government’s manifesto commitment to make the UK a science and research superpower.
The Agreement is structured into 7 Parts:
Part 1 covers the common and institutional provisions in the Agreement;
Part 2 covers trade and other economic aspects of the relationship, such as aviation, energy, road transport, and social security;
Part 3 covers cooperation on law enforcement and criminal justice;
Part 4 covers so-called “thematic” issues, notably health collaboration;
Part 5 covers participation in EU Programmes, principally scientific collaboration through Horizon;
Part 6 covers dispute settlement;
Part 7 sets out final provisionss
Our original approach was that some of these policy aspects should form separate agreements rather than be incorporated into one overall one. We have nevertheless agreed robust provisions that, when necessary, treat the different parts separately, for example as regards the (very limited) scope for cross-suspension following disputes, or the separate and distinct termination clauses in most areas.
In parallel, we have agreed a separate Nuclear Cooperation Agreement and an agreement on Security Procedures for Exchanging and Protecting Classified Information.
Part 1 – Common and Institutional Provisions
Title I – Common provisions
These provisions provide for a range of matters across the Agreement including setting the object and purpose of the Agreement. These provisions also reaffirm the independence of the two Parties and remove any ambiguity about the UK’s status as a sovereign nation
Title II – Principles of interpretation and definitions
These provisions deliver on the Government’s commitment to ensure that the relationship between the UK and the EU is based on international law, not EU law.
Title III – Institutional framework
These arrangements establish the necessary fora for both political and technical discussion. A Partnership Council will supervise the operation of the Agreement at a political level, providing strategic direction. Any decisions made will be by mutual consent. The UK must agree to anything for it to be binding. The Partnership Council will be supported by a network of other committees, including on trade. These will provide necessary opportunities for technical discussion to ensure the smooth implementation of the Agreement and its stable operation.